Introduction to Flight Simulation
Lecture: Tuesday, 16-18, Room 140
Exercise: Tuesday, 18-20, Room 7
In the first lectures, I will explain the basics of numerical
methods for solving differential equations, and apply this on
calculation of orbits and rocket trajectories.
We calculate how much fuel a rocket needs to reach orbit, how much
fuel is needed to reach the moon. We use Runge-Kutta methods to
simulate various exotic types of orbits and Laplace points.
Next topic is mechanics of rigid objects.
A rigid object is an object that does not change form in a significant way,
when forces are put on it. In addition to position and speed, a rigid
object also has an orientation and an angular speed.
The origentation of a rigid object can be modelled by a quaternion.
Its weight distribution can be represented by an inertia matrix.
Stability and Control: A system is stable when small disturbances
converge to zero over time. An unstable airplane is difficult to fly.
I will teach techniques for analyzing the stability of a system, and
how the increase the stability of a system by automatic control.
Detecting contacts with the ground: There exist collisions and there exist
controlled ground contacts. In order to be able to simulate
landings and take offs, one need to detect when the airplace
touches the ground, and in which way it touches the ground,
and what forces there exist on the wheels.
Data structures for scenery representation.
Aerodynamic forces are too complex to compute in real time.
Because of this, aerodynamic forces are usually put in tables.
Splines are used for interpolation. I explain what these are,
and how they are constructed.
Aerodynamics: Although one needs to know almost nothing about aerodynamics
for building a flight simulator, it is still an interesting topic
with some deep insights that I don't want to hide from you.
I will explain what potential flows are, prove Bernoulli's law,
and explain the Kutta-Joukowski theorem.
You should have knowledge of C++, linear algebra,
and differential calculus.
Installing SFML (Simple and Fast Multimedia Library)
SMFL can be obtained from here .
I installed it under Debian Linux, and it was quite straightforward.
The desription is quite clear.
You have to install a couple of include files (for g++), and a couple
SFML supports computer graphics through OpenGL.
homepage of Andrzej Lukaszewski
contains a lot of pointers to openGL.
used to be the main source for learning OpenGL.
It is outdated, because the
standard commands have been replaced by direct programming
of the graphics card. (Shading Language).
This has the advantage that the user has more flexibility,
but unfortunately, the user also has to understand more.
Even when the commands in the Red Book are outdated, the algorithms
are still valid, so it is still useful to look at the first 5 sections.
First exercise is on 9.10.12.
Here it is.
(I improved the layout, and I corrected the mistake with the minus.)
We still want to show that that planetary orbits are ellipses.
(or hyperboles or paraboles)
Exercise number 2 .
Exercise number 3 .
Exercise number 4 .
Ultimate goal of this exercise
is to understand the control problem related to
The rocket simulation program is in the
There is a
Anonymous opinions from System Zapisow.
Mechanics of Flight, A.C. Kermode, 9th Edition,
Longman Group UK Limited, UK, 1987.
Aircraft Control and Simulation, Brian Stevens and Frank Lewis,
John Wiley and Sons Inc., 1992.
Fluid Mechanics DeMYSTiFieD (A Self-Teaching Guide),
Merle C. Potter, McGraw Hill, 2009.
Numerical Methods for Ordinary Differential Equations,
J.C. Butcher, Wiley and Sons, 2003.
Analyse, J.H.J. Almering e.a., VSSD, Delftse Uitgevers Maatschappij,
the Netherlands, 1984.